Plans to reopen East Linton and Reston stations backed by councils
Both Scottish Borders and East Lothian councils have written to transport minister Humza Yousaf to confirm their support for an option which would see the stations included in a programme of works that covers Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland.
The councils believe this could potentially allow the stations to be operational during 2021.
Following discussions with the Scottish Government last year, both councils agreed to increase their contribution to the stations – Scottish Borders to £2.84 million for Reston, and East Lothian to £3.44m for East Linton – in an effort to see the return of a local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
Councillor David Parker, Scottish Borders Council’s leader, said: “Both councils believe the proposed approach gives certainty about the stations’ delivery.
“We believe the package is a significant step forward and we await the Minister’s positive response.
“Data this week from the Scottish Tourism Economic Assessment Monitor has revealed how the Borders Railway is beginning to provide significant economic and social benefits for the central Borders, and we believe the re-introduction of a station at Reston could do the same for residents in the east of our region.”
Councillor Michael Veitch, depute leader and transport spokesman, East Lothian Council, added: “This is a hugely significant step in the ongoing campaign to secure the much anticipated reopening of East Linton and Reston stations.
“The opening of these stations would be a game-changer for both East Lothian and Berwickshire in terms massively improving commuting options and boosting the local economy.
“Both local authorities have already invested significant resources to date in moving the project forward, and I am delighted that we have been able to reach this crucial stage in our discussions with the Scottish Government.”
Mr Yousaf said he was delighted the councils had accepted the increased funding offer.
He added: “The Scottish Government has always been a strong supporter of these stations and my substantial funding offer reflects the value we place on the social and economic benefits the stations could potentially bring to Reston, East Linton and surrounding communities.”
Following design work undertaken by Network Rail, current estimates are £10.63m for a new station at Reston and £11.13m for a new station at East Linton.